Bluefin Energy - Floating Offshore Wind

Gulf of Mexico

Offshore Wind Potential

More than two-thirds of the overall U.S. potential for offshore wind – 2.8 terawatts (TW) is in deep waters (i.e. in water depths beyond 60 meters by offshore wind standards), which is only accessible through cost-effective floating offshore wind energy technology.  The Gulf of Mexico has the potential to generate almost 510,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy per year.  That is twice the current energy need of all five Gulf states, and larger than the potential offshore wind capacity of the Pacific Coast and the Great Lakes combined.  Although 1/3rd of the U.S. shallow water resource is in the Gulf of Mexico, most of the Gulf of Mexico’s oil and gas assets are in deep (1,000 – 4,999 ft by oil and gas standards) and ultra-deep (5,000 and > ft) waters.

Suitable port terminals and piers are located near the offshore wind resources in the Gulf of Mexico.  Warmer temperatures and smaller average wave heights will increase offshore wind turbine accessibility and decrease construction schedules.   Some offshore oil and gas platforms may get a second life as substations and serve as a base for wind farm operations and maintenance roles.

Lease Sale

The first ever auction of offshore wind energy development rights in the Gulf of Mexico ended with a $5.6 million winning bid on August 29th, 2023.  This offshore wind lease sale encompasses a 102,480-acre area, is 71 kilometers off the Lake Charles, Louisiana Coast, and has water depths of 10 - 25 meters. 

Though the bids were few in number, industry advocates hailed the first-ever auction as an important milestone for the Gulf Coast’s evolving wind energy sector.  “As the Gulf of Mexico continues its evolution into a broad-based and integrated energy hub, encompassing segments such as oil and gas, wind, and with future prospects of carbon sequestration and hydrogen, the opportunity for the first offshore wind project will be a marker for the region,” National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito said in a statement.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Bluefin Energy (USA) is one of two energy development companies currently targeting enhanced electrification of oil and & gas production platforms in the US Gulf of Mexico with floating offshore wind.  Conventional electrification of oil and gas production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico is an established technology pioneered by Waldemar S. Nelson and Company, Inc. for Shell plc in the 1980s.  However, these “all electric” platforms, are still powered by the combustion of hydrocarbons, typically natural gas.

By utilizing offshore wind, a portion of the existing emissions from this gas fired generation can be reduced and the life of producing oil & gas assets can be extended.  It turns out that reducing greenhouse gas emissions (methane, carbon dioxide, and NOx) can also be a cost-effective remedy as well as a unique entry point for launching a floating offshore wind energy industry in the Americas.    


On December 13th, 2023, Louisiana achieved a milestone in the United States by launching the first offshore wind energy projects in state waters.  Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Tom Harris announced approval of two projects, Diamond Offshore Wind and Cajun Wind.  

The Diamond Offshore Wind site, owned by Mitsubishi, was approved for a 6,162-acre area off Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes while the Cajun Wind site, owned by Vestas, was granted nearly 60,000 acres off Cameron Parish.  Diamond Offshore Wind paid $308,101 upfront  and will submit 1.5% of its gross revenues in royalties over the life of the  lease agreement.  Cajun Wind paid $357,923 for its lease agreement and will pay 2.2% in royalties. 

“For generations, the state of Louisiana has been a leader in energy production, and offshore wind energy is the next chapter in that great history as we expand our options for clean energy production and open new avenues for the development of our state economy,” Governor Edwards said.